Step off the well-trodden path and embark on a journey of discovery through the captivating landscapes of Iceland's Golden Circle. While iconic landmarks like Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall have long mesmerized travelers, there exists a realm of hidden treasures waiting to be unveiled by the adventurous at heart. In this article, we invite you to peel back the layers of the Golden Circle's tourist facade and delve into the secret enclaves that reveal the true essence of this enchanting region.

Beyond the classics, where tourist buses gather, and selfie sticks dominate, lie lesser-known wonders that weave their own tales of beauty and allure. Imagine standing at the edge of an ancient volcanic crater, mesmerized by its kaleidoscope of vibrant hues. Picture yourself reveling in the serenity of a secluded waterfall, where nature's symphony takes center stage. Picture the thrill of uncovering hidden trails leading to ethereal hot springs nestled within untouched landscapes. These are the hidden gems of the Golden Circle, waiting patiently for those intrepid souls willing to wander off the beaten path and embrace the extraordinary. Join us as we embark on a journey to unearth the secrets of this captivating region, where authentic experiences and unspoiled landscapes await at every turn.

Kerið Crater: A Colorful Natural Wonder

Nestled within the Golden Circle's captivating landscapes, the Kerið Crater stands as a remarkable testament to Iceland's volcanic origins. Located near the town of Selfoss, this geological marvel is easily accessible and serves as a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. What sets Kerið apart is its striking display of vibrant colors, creating a surreal panorama that leaves visitors in awe. The steep walls of the crater showcase a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows, contrasting against the deep blue hues of the lake at the bottom. This extraordinary color palette is a result of the volcanic minerals that adorn the crater's surface, painting a captivating picture for all who venture here.

Image Credit: Luca Florio

Aside from its visually stunning attributes, Kerið also offers opportunities for exploration and adventure. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on a journey around the rim of the crater, allowing them to witness its mesmerizing beauty from different perspectives while immersing themselves in the raw Icelandic wilderness. For those seeking expert guidance and insights, guided tours are available, led by knowledgeable local experts who unveil the geological and cultural significance of this natural wonder.

Faxi Waterfall: A Serene Alternative to Gullfoss

When seeking a serene alternative to the famous Gullfoss waterfall, look no further than Faxi Waterfall in the Golden Circle. While Gullfoss may steal the spotlight with its grandeur, Faxi offers a quieter and more intimate experience, allowing visitors to truly connect with nature. The tranquil atmosphere that envelops Faxi creates a sense of serenity, providing a peaceful escape from the bustling crowds. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, the waterfall cascades gracefully over a wide ledge, creating a mesmerizing display of cascading water. The unhurried pace and untouched surroundings of Faxi make it an ideal spot for leisurely activities such as picnicking amidst nature's splendor or capturing stunning photographs of this hidden gem.

Image Credit: Job Savelsberg

At Faxi, visitors can revel in the beauty of a lesser-known waterfall, free from the crowds that often flock to Gullfoss. The soothing sounds of rushing water and the pristine surroundings create a serene ambiance that allows for reflection and appreciation of the natural world. Capture the essence of Faxi through photography, as the gentle flow of water and the surrounding landscapes offer endless opportunities for artistic expression. Bring along a picnic and savor the peaceful atmosphere while enjoying a meal amidst the beauty of Faxi's surroundings.

Brúarfoss: The Hidden Gem of Blue

Tucked away in the Golden Circle lies Brúarfoss, an elusive hidden gem celebrated for its mesmerizing display of vibrant blue hues. This secluded waterfall enchants visitors with its ethereal beauty, as the glacial waters cascade down moss-covered rocks, creating a captivating sight. The vivid blue color, caused by the presence of suspended minerals in the water, lends an otherworldly quality to Brúarfoss, making it a must-see for those seeking unique and awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Image Credit: Kameron Kincade

While finding Brúarfoss can be a challenge, the journey to reach this hidden gem is a rewarding experience in itself. The winding paths and absence of clear signage add an element of adventure and exclusivity to the visit. As you venture through the rugged Icelandic terrain, surrounded by untouched landscapes, the anticipation builds. Upon discovering Brúarfoss, a sense of accomplishment and awe washes over you as you witness the splendor of nature's hidden masterpiece. To reach Brúarfoss, it is recommended to follow specific directions or seek local guidance, as the precise location may not be immediately apparent. 

Skálholt: A Historic Haven

Nestled within the captivating landscapes of the Golden Circle, Skálholt stands as a testament to Iceland's historical and cultural heritage. Located in southwestern Iceland, near the town of Selfoss, Skálholt holds a prime position, making it easily accessible for visitors seeking to explore its historical significance. This former episcopal see served as a hub of power and spirituality, playing a crucial role in shaping the religious and cultural landscape of Iceland.

Image Credit: adam w

Situated amidst scenic surroundings, Skálholt offers a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to immerse themselves in the historical ambiance. The location itself holds significance, as it was strategically chosen for its symbolic and geographical importance in the region. As you journey to Skálholt, you will be greeted by a landscape that echoes the stories of the past, creating an atmosphere that transports you back in time. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an architecture admirer, or simply seeking a deeper connection with Iceland's cultural heritage, Skálholt invites you to explore its captivating church, archaeological remains, and exhibitions, all within the enchanting embrace of the Golden Circle's landscapes.

Friðheimar Greenhouse: A Taste of Tomato Heaven

Indulge in a culinary journey unlike any other at Friðheimar Greenhouse, a truly unique destination within the Golden Circle. Step into a world where tomatoes reign supreme, and the aroma of freshly grown produce permeates the air. Friðheimar Greenhouse is not just a greenhouse; it is a tomato lover's paradise, offering a one-of-a-kind dining experience surrounded by the vibrant hues and tantalizing scents of this cherished fruit. At Friðheimar Greenhouse, tomatoes take center stage in a remarkable culinary affair. As you enter the greenhouse, you will be greeted by rows upon rows of tomato plants thriving under the unique cultivation method of utilizing Iceland's geothermal energy. 

Image Credit: Pierre-Selim Huard

Witness firsthand the sustainable practices that enable the growth of these luscious fruits in an otherwise challenging climate. Immerse yourself in the tomato-themed dining experience, where you can savor dishes prepared with love and care, showcasing the extraordinary flavors of Friðheimar's homegrown tomatoes. From tomato soup to tomato-based cocktails, every bite and sip is a celebration of the humble yet versatile tomato. Additionally, Friðheimar offers the opportunity to learn about tomato farming through guided tours, where you can gain insights into the cultivation techniques and the dedication behind this remarkable greenhouse operation. Prepare your taste buds for a tantalizing adventure and discover the extraordinary world of tomatoes at Friðheimar Greenhouse.

Efstidalur Farm: From Farm to Table Delights

Immerse yourself in the true essence of farm-to-table dining at Efstidalur Farm, a hidden culinary gem nestled within the Golden Circle. With a commitment to organic practices and a focus on locally sourced ingredients, Efstidalur Farm offers a delightful journey from the farm to your table, where the freshest flavors and the warmth of Icelandic hospitality converge. At Efstidalur Farm, sustainability and quality take center stage. 

Efstidalur Farm

The farm's organic practices ensure that every ingredient is grown and produced with the utmost care, allowing visitors to savor the purest flavors of the Icelandic countryside. From the fields to the kitchen, the farm-to-table concept comes alive as you taste the difference in each bite. Indulge in their homemade ice cream, crafted from the farm's own dairy products, where each scoop encapsulates the creamy richness and wholesome goodness of the farm's fresh milk. For dairy enthusiasts, Efstidalur Farm also offers a range of delectable dairy products, from artisan cheeses to velvety yogurts, each crafted with love and a commitment to excellence. Treat your taste buds to an authentic farm-to-table experience where the flavors of nature are celebrated at Efstidalur Farm in the heart of the Golden Circle.

Secret Lagoon: A Soothing Geothermal Oasis

Nestled amidst Iceland's captivating landscapes, the Secret Lagoon beckons weary travelers with its soothing embrace. Known as a natural hot spring, this hidden oasis offers a serene and relaxed ambiance that invites you to unwind and rejuvenate. What sets the Secret Lagoon apart is not only its tranquil atmosphere but also its historical significance as one of Iceland's oldest geothermal pools. Steeped in history, the Secret Lagoon holds a sense of timelessness as you soak in its warm, mineral-rich waters. Imagine immersing yourself in a natural pool surrounded by steam rising from the geothermal springs, creating an ethereal atmosphere. 

Secret Lagoon

This ancient bathing site has been enjoyed by locals and travelers alike for centuries, providing a glimpse into the enduring allure of geothermal bathing in Icelandic culture. Take a moment to embrace the therapeutic properties of the warm waters as they relax your body and ease your mind. Allow the tranquil surroundings to envelop you, offering a much-needed respite from the demands of everyday life. The Secret Lagoon beckons you to experience the serenity and healing power of its geothermal waters, creating a timeless and unforgettable encounter within the Golden Circle's captivating landscapes.

Hjálparfoss: The Dual Waterfall

Discover the hidden beauty of Hjálparfoss, a lesser-known gem that unveils a captivating dual waterfall within the Golden Circle. Tucked away from the crowds, Hjálparfoss presents a unique spectacle as two distinct streams merge to create a breathtaking cascade. This hidden wonder showcases the harmonious convergence of nature's elements and offers a serene and picturesque setting for exploration. The geological formation of Hjálparfoss adds to its allure, with striking basalt rock formations framing the cascading waters. As the streams gracefully tumble into a tranquil pool below, the surrounding landscapes provide a stunning backdrop of rugged cliffs and lush greenery. 

Image Credit: Job Savelsberg

The combination of the dual waterfall and the scenic surroundings creates an enchanting ambiance that is sure to captivate visitors. Take advantage of the hiking trails that meander through the area, allowing you to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of the Icelandic wilderness. Alternatively, find a tranquil spot for a leisurely picnic, embracing the serenity and natural splendor that Hjálparfoss offers. Let Hjálparfoss be your serene sanctuary, where the dual waterfall and the scenic landscapes converge to create an unforgettable experience within the Golden Circle.

Haifoss: Majestic Beauty in Seclusion

Prepare to be awestruck by the majestic beauty of Haifoss, one of Iceland's tallest waterfalls hidden away in the remote highlands. Towering at an impressive height, Haifoss cascades dramatically down a rugged cliffside, leaving spectators spellbound by its sheer grandeur. The breathtaking views from the top offer a panorama of untouched wilderness, where nature's raw power takes center stage.

Image Credit: Luca Florio

Reaching Haifoss requires navigating through the challenging terrain of the highlands, making a 4x4 vehicle a necessity for this off-the-beaten-path adventure. As you venture closer to the waterfall, exercise caution and respect for nature, as the hiking trails can be steep and uneven. However, the effort is undoubtedly worth it as you witness Haifoss in all its splendor. The sight of the cascading waters plunging into the deep canyon below is a sight to behold, immersing you in the untamed beauty of Iceland's highlands. Let Haifoss be your secluded oasis, where the mesmerizing power of nature unfolds before your eyes, reminding you of the raw and untamed beauty that lies within the Golden Circle.


The Golden Circle beckons with its hidden gems, inviting you to venture off the beaten path and uncover the region's best-kept secrets. From the vibrant colors of Kerið Crater to the tranquil allure of Faxi Waterfall, the Golden Circle offers a plethora of unique and unforgettable attractions. Immerse yourself in the rich history, indulge in farm-to-table delights, and rejuvenate in soothing hot springs. The Golden Circle is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

As a tour company specializing in the Golden Circle, we are committed to providing exceptional experiences that showcase the true essence of this remarkable region. Book your Golden Circle tour with us today and embark on a remarkable adventure that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the hidden gems that lie within this captivating Icelandic wonderland.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get to Kvernufoss?

Ans: To reach Kvernufoss, follow the trail from Skógafoss waterfall in South Iceland. From the parking area near Skógafoss, walk east along the marked trail that leads behind the waterfall. Continue along the trail for approximately 500 meters until you reach Kvernufoss. It's a scenic and relatively easy hike, offering beautiful views of both waterfalls.

Q: What is the third-highest waterfall in Iceland?

Ans: Glymur Waterfall holds the title of the third-highest waterfall in Iceland. Located in the Hvalfjörður area, approximately 45 kilometers from Reykjavik, Glymur cascades down a narrow canyon in a majestic display of natural beauty. To reach Glymur, visitors can embark on a moderate hiking trail that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and leads to a viewing platform overlooking the waterfall.

Q: What's the best way to see Fridheimar?

Ans: The best way to experience Fridheimar is by visiting their greenhouse restaurant in Reykholt, located in the western part of the Golden Circle. Fridheimar is known for its tomato-themed dining experience, and reservations are recommended to secure a table. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the greenhouse, learn about sustainable tomato cultivation practices, and even have the opportunity to taste delicious tomato-based dishes, including their famous tomato soup.

Q: How to reach Brúarfoss?

Ans: Accessing Brúarfoss requires a bit of effort, but the journey is well worth it. To reach the waterfall, you need to park at the Brúarárfoss parking lot located off Road 37, between Laugarvatn and Geysir. From the parking lot, follow the marked trail for approximately 20-30 minutes, passing through rough terrain and crossing a small river. Be prepared for uneven paths and be cautious, as there are no official signs leading to the waterfall. Following a map or using a reliable navigation app can be helpful in finding the correct route.

Q: How to get to Goðafoss?

Ans: Goðafoss is conveniently located off the Ring Road (Route 1) in North Iceland, making it easily accessible by car. It is approximately 45 kilometers east of Akureyri, the largest town in the region. Visitors can reach Goðafoss by driving along the Ring Road until they see signs indicating the turnoff to the waterfall. There is a parking area near the waterfall, allowing for easy access. Follow the well-maintained path from the parking area to reach the viewpoints and marvel at the magnificent beauty of Goðafoss.